NHL: Time Is Up For Bettman, Fehr

Mediation proved useless in the NHL labor dispute. Neutral third-party assistance moved the owners and players no closer toward settlement.

With the owners sticking to their onerous demands, the NHL Players Association is pondering the nuclear option.

The union could force the season’s cancellation by voting to decertify. This drastic act would shift the battle to the courtroom and force the two sides to rebuild their “relationship” from scratch.

Commissioner Gary Bettman is trying to make NHLPA czar Donald Fehr the bad guy. He is now proposing direct meetings between owners and players with no representatives involved.

Bettman is willing to step out of the room if Fehr will do the same. Some owners believe Fehr has been filtering their message. They believe the players will suddenly see the light if he moves aside.

For more on this story visit: Jeff Gordon, St. Louis Post-Dispatch